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erica

Rick Bayless and Burger King - Part 1

576 posts in this topic

Actually, I am going to retract my comment about "feet of clay". If the guy can make a bunch of money and that makes it possible for him to continue to take his emplyees on the yearly excursions into Mexico, continue to promote the wonders of Mexican cuisine, more power to him.

Hm.

Did he then need the BK funds to do this? Are his restaurants so unstable to make this tradition unworkable now?

Rick?


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Jinmyo, by my count you have made three requests in this thread for RB to defend himself. What if he doesn't? Can we next expect some gloating, a la Bill O'Reilly, that because he hasn't responded therefor any and all allegations must be true?

One public request should have been enough, perhaps with a personal off-site invitation as a follow-up.


We'll not discriminate great from small.

No, we'll serve anyone - meaning anyone -

And to anyone at all!

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OOOOhh Good subject!

I don't know the chef in question from a hole in the wall, but can i assume he is running a sucessfull restaurant/s?So hes making a reasonable living.

Heres the rub...he either loves the new product he is hired to promote,no problemo :biggrin:

or

he's saying he likes it for a shed load of cash, which is a little dishonest. :angry:

I can honestly say that i would turn down big chunks of cash to promote a crap product.I want to be able to look back on my life, and my daughter in the eye, and know i only lied when it was absolutely neccesary.

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Jinmyo, by my count you have made three requests in this thread for RB to defend himself.  What if he doesn't?  Can we next expect some gloating, a la Bill O'Reilly, that because he hasn't responded therefor any and all allegations must be true?

One public request should have been enough, perhaps with a personal off-site invitation as a follow-up.

I'm sorry to have offended by repeating those invitations. They were primarily intended to be humourous references to the fact that regardless of what my own (as yet uninformed and primarily hyperbolic) opinion might be, ultimately it is up to Rick Bayless to know what this endorsement meant or did not mean to him.

For the sake of the outrageous title I gave to this piece in the Weekend Update (for which I compose extreme and often "fairly unbalanced" titles), I've made a few comments in a similiar vein here.

For the record:

Chef Bayless Might Or Might Not Be A Shameless Lying Pimp. Only he knows for sure.

But I do know I would be were I in his clogs having Done This Deed.

Good night Mr and Mrs America and all the ships at sea. Bon chance.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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As grey as a BK chicken breast or ground beef. Or cheez. Or fries.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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RB is also a "consulting chef" for Marshall Fields (big Chicago Department store owned by the same company that owns Target), along with a bunch of FoodTV people.

Is this pimping?

He also did menus for United Airlines about five years ago.


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"......I know that sarcasm isn't easily detected over the web, but....are you serious?

I highly doubt that BK is going to turn pseudo-haute anytime in the near future...perhaps post-2012, but surely not until Timewave Zero has come to fruition......."

Why not?

Every either new or well known product being marketed today are automatically labeled "GOURMET"

Read all the press releases manufacturers send out, everything is 'Gourmet'.

Even peanuts are 'gourmet', I mean they are good, they are delicious, and even nutritious, BUT "GOURMET" ???, Come on !!

And you are right (in a way), the next marketing strategy will be "Haute Cuisine" ('gourmet' will fade)

Am I sarcastic ?, you bet your sweet 'gourmet' bibby !


Peter

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I ate a Whopper today...and they didn't pay me...in fact  I paid them....

and it was good too....

I'd certainly eat one if someone else was paying...

And if they were paying me in addtion to buying the sandwich, that's just a bonus. :raz:

Was Dr. Atkins "pimping" his medical research and knowledge when he wrote "The Atkins Diet"? Is Johnny Cochran or Mark Geragos a "sellout" to the entire legal profession? Why must creative people be punished or ridiculed for trying to make a living and provide for their families in the same type of income bracket as "professionals"??? Is it because CIA isn't Harvard Law or Wharton? This is just a bullshit double standard IMO, that's probably tainted with a little envy to boot.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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"...... Why must creative people be punished or ridiculed for "trying to make a living and provide for their families in the same type of income bracket as "professionals"???  Is it because CIA isn't Harvard Law or Wharton?  This is just a bullshit double standard IMO, that's probably tainted with a little envy to boot...."

Katie, Rick Bayless is a 'Professional' !!

This ' bullshit double standard '

is something always bothering me.

Why is this term always and only granted to Doctors and Lawyers ?

I have been and still am (although retired) a "Professional Chef"

Give me slack or tighten the rein. Enlighten me, please.


Peter

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Jinmyo, by my count you have made three requests in this thread for RB to defend himself.  What if he doesn't?  Can we next expect some gloating, a la Bill O'Reilly, that because he hasn't responded therefor any and all allegations must be true?

One public request should have been enough, perhaps with a personal off-site invitation as a follow-up.

I'm sorry to have offended by repeating those invitations. They were primarily intended to be humourous references to the fact that regardless of what my own (as yet uninformed and primarily hyperbolic) opinion might be, ultimately it is up to Rick Bayless to know what this endorsement meant or did not mean to him.

For the sake of the outrageous title I gave to this piece in the Weekend Update (for which I compose extreme and often "fairly unbalanced" titles), I've made a few comments in a similiar vein here.

For the record:

Chef Bayless Might Or Might Not Be A Shameless Lying Pimp. Only he knows for sure.

But I do know I would be were I in his clogs having Done This Deed.

Good night Mr and Mrs America and all the ships at sea. Bon chance.

Now, let's see here. By my dictionary, shameless means "insensible to disgrace." Lying means "to make untrue statements with the intent to deceive." A pimp is someone, usually a man, who solicits clients for prostitutes.

The proper use of the first word, in this case, hinges on whether or not there is any true disgrace involved, and is therefor subjective. However, there can be no subjectivity in the accusation of lying, and there is no evidence as to Mr. Bayless being dishonest here. As for his being a pimp, we can assume that Burger King asked Mr. Bayless to sample the product before endorsing it. Either the use of the word "pimp" is incorrect ("shill" strikes me as more accurate), or Mr. Bayless has a great deal of explaining to do to Mrs. Bayless.

As it stands, the front page of this site currently contains a highly negative declarative statement about Mr. Bayless. I don't see how he owes anyone an explanation for his frankly innocuous actions.


We'll not discriminate great from small.

No, we'll serve anyone - meaning anyone -

And to anyone at all!

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Woody: not trying to pick on you specifically; just trying to use your post as a reference point for explaining the TDG editorial position on this.

The first three headlines in the Weekend Update are:

"Chef Rick Bayless Becomes Shameless Lying Pimp"

"World Doomed. It's Too Late. No Where To Run."

"Grocery Store Hos"

So let me throw out another definition or two (both Merriam Webster):

Satire: "trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly"

Sarcasm: "a mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter, caustic, and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual"

Given the aforementioned context, not to mention the fact that anybody who reads TDG generally and the Weekend Update specifically on a regular basis knows that the publication is rife with satire, sarcasm, irony, etc., I don't think it's accurate to say that "Chef Rick Bayless Becomes Shameless Lying Pimp" is a "highly negative declarative statement." It is, rather, a highly sarcastic, satirical statement.

If anybody wants to read the declawed, non-judgmental, unironic, accepting version of the story, direct your attention to the standard sources, to wit The Miami Herald, The Washington Post, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. If you want to see something with teeth, look here. Rick Bayless is getting plenty of money, I'm sure, for this endorsement. That's fine. I'd take the money and give the endorsement too. I'd fully expect people to attack me for it and I'd be laughing all the way to the bank.

Let's put this in perspective a few different ways: First, as mentioned above, this needs to be seen against the context of TDG, the Weekend Update, and the way Jinmyo does these headlines. Second, a "star chef" has endorsed a Burger King sandwich, and while I'll be the first to defend his right to do so and while I'll also be the first to admit that the sandwich could be good, I'm not so naive as to think this won't raise a few journalistic eyebrows and indeed I'd think it bizarre if such an action went unquestioned. Because overall, Burger King sucks. Even to someone like me who is overall sympathetic to chain and convenience food, Burger King sucks. In my opinion it is, overall, significantly worse than McDonald's. And that's pretty low. If an eminent neurosurgeon started doing ads for some questionable herbal remedy and his defense was, well, yeah it sucks but it's a step in the right direction, he'd get raked over the coals in the media and he'd deserve it. (Miami Herald: ''I'm not normally a fast-food kind of person,'' Bayless said during a phone interview. "But I think this is a step in the right direction. It's healthier, fresher-tasting and much less processed.'') Third, welcome to the world of irreverent journalism ala Salon, Slate, and Wired. Examples of some Salon article titles: "Bush is an idiot, but he was right about Saddam," "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them," "Media Circus | Unspun: Pimps without portfolio." Example of some Wired article text: "Journalists in this country need to strap on their balls and quit clinging to the lab coats of the lying "objectivists" and their pretenses of "neutrality."" "As usual, the film industry has adopted a policy of lying to the public, and is hoping that no one notices."


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I'm just surprised more people aren't equally upset at the fact the world is doomed. It will be interesting to hear exactly what Bayless has to say about the sandwich, assuming the world will last long enough for me to get that chance.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Katie, Rick Bayless is a 'Professional' !!

This 'bullshit double standard' is something always bothering me.

Why is this term always and only granted to Doctors and Lawyers ?

I have been and still am (although retired) a "Professional Chef"

Give me slack or tighten the rein. Enlighten me, please.

You've utterly misunderstood me. I'm on your side. As a Food & Beverage Professional myself, I completely agree that Chefs like Mr. Bayless and yourself and many other hard working souls are absolutely Professionals. However, the fact remains that there exists a double standard both in the public and even amongst Food Professionals themselves that "creative types", be they artists, chefs, musicians or whatever, are somehow less "deserving" of the term "professional" than someone with a graduate degree in a "white collar" job. Everyone is so ready to jump on the artist as a "sell-out" or a "pimp" for trying to maximize their income, public notariety, family security, etc. Why? My previous example holds. Why is a chef that endorses a product (as long as they aren't TOTALLY lying about it) more of a sellout than the diet doctor or the high profile Court TV attorney? Chefs and other upper level managers in the food & beverage industry work incredibly long hours, often six or seven days a week, under incredibly stressful conditions. No nice offices, no fancy desks, no long payroll of administrative assistance under them, often no big fat benefits packages and few "perks". I would undoubtedly make more money as a cost accountant for a corporation of equivalent size and sales revenue in another industry, yet I continue to work in the restaurant industry. Why? Because I love it, it brings me great joy, and I wouldn't get to work with wine and food or see my ideas impact revenue in quite such a causal and quantifiable manner if I were counting widgets, that's why. So the green eyed monster rears it's head, or the resentment that might be barely contained comes out and people are quick to call the "Artist Professional" a sell-out because they have some ridiculous notion that creative people somehow have different needs than professionals with higher education that have to pass some sort of difficult exam to practice their profession. I can't think of anyone that would be upset at having some huge deep-pocketed corporation come knocking on their door with a fat check with lots of zeros at the end of it and ask them to endorse some product that they would seem to have some level of expertise about. Anyone that says otherwise is simply lying to themselves (and everyone else) and has a very over-onflated sense of self-righteousness. "No thanks. I'd rather wear a crown of thorns and keep my 'integrity', but I won't be able to send my children to college or retire eventually. I'll have to work until my dying day, but I'll die proud."

Spare me. :rolleyes:

Make more sense now?


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Katie (and Peter), do you not think there's a categorical difference (several differences, really) between pursuit of the arts and pursuit of the professions? Unless you're going to reduce and level the meaning of "professional" to how they used to define it in the Olympics -- as in, a professional athlete (or anything else) is anyone who gets paid to do anything -- I think it's illogical to try to say there's no difference between being, on the one hand, a doctor or lawyer, and, on the other hand, being a painter, sculptor, musician, or chef (note even that last grouping is questionable, as many would seek to distinguish art from craft). Having different expectations of different types of people based on their career choices isn't by definition a "double standard," nor do those varying expectations deny that all these options are careers with professional aspects to them (the artist must engage in time management, sell works, etc., to survive -- it's not all living off NEA grants). It's too easy to throw that terminology around anytime anybody makes a distinction between two categories of people, but it loses its meaning unless it is reserved for instances of outright hypocrisy and attempts to subjugate a group (like women) by holding its members (especially when membership is genetic or otherwise inevitable) to a stricter moral code (such as sexual) than another group (like men). There are in my opinion significant differences between creatives and professionals, which isn't to say creatives are "unprofessional" -- that would be a different use of the word and one has to realize there are several definitions in order to make sense of it.

Especially when you start looking at the top people in a given line of work, the expectations are justifiably different. Nobody looks to a top cardiac surgeon to be a tastemaker. That person is expected to perform complex surgery on people's hearts, and perhaps to conduct research and experimentation that will eventually result in new and improved procedures to do the same. But to any artist, that cardiac surgeon (and the similarly situated lawyer or other professional) is simply what's known as a customer. Whereas, a top chef -- especially a "star chef" with an ambitious public career plan that includes TV shows, consulting gigs, multiple restaurants, endorsements, etc. -- is absolutely a tastemaker, figuratively and literally. That's the whole point of choosing that career path. And the star chef's stock-in-trade is his or her credibility and reputation as a tastemaker. Otherwise there would be no chefs on the Food Network; they would just hire actors to play chefs.

But I don't even think, putting all that aside, we're looking at a double standard here. Many people -- most people, I'd guess -- are a lot more offended by the commercial/capitalist aspect of medicine or law than they are by the commercial aspect of cuisine. I know of lots of countries that have socialized medicine, but none that have socialized cuisine. And across all career lines, most anybody who's good at something has a reputation to protect. I think an eminent doctor would rightly lose respect for endorsing an inferior medical product, just as a chef would and should lose respect for endorsing a food item that tastes like crap.

I'd be a lot more sympathetic to Bayless if Burger King had called up and said, hey, chef, we're trying to make a food item that doesn't suck. Let us give you a consulting fee and you come into our test kitchen for a few days. We'll give you parameters such as cost and available ingredients, and you'll come up with a Mexican-type sandwich for us that you'll be willing to endorse. But from what I've been able to find in the newspaper reports thus far, that is simply not what happened. Rather, it seems "Burger King hastily arranged the endorsement of celebrity chef Rick Bayless of Chicago, who has won top culinary awards for his Mexican cuisine. He will promote the sandwiches in a commercial, and may even dabble in Burger King's test kitchen." (Washington Post, see link in my previous post.) Well, you know what? Rick Bayless created value for himslef by winning those "top culinary awards for his Mexican cuisine" (which came, presumably, in recognition of his talent and reputation). Burger King recognizes that value. And Rick Bayless, it seems, has decided to outright sell some of that value for cash on the barrelhead. That's his right, and perhaps most people would do the same. But there's no point in denying what seems to have happened. You can't have your quesadilla and eat it too. When you sell your reputation, you don't also get to keep it.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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When you sell your reputation, you don't also get to keep it.

Rick Bayless? Oh yeah! He's that Burger King Chef.

I'm in the UK, so thats all i know about this guys reputation...he sells burgers.

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A chef sells not only food that tastes good but his or her sense of taste and style.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Steve and Katie,

to only clarify my point I was trying to make.

I completely agree with both of you and really do understand your points.

It is just the ‘usage’ (misusage? or common use?) of a word in the English language (and words in other languages as well) that I seem to be picking on. Steve your quote:

“……to reduce and level the meaning of "professional"…… “

My question, first who or what elevated ( in order to reduce it) the word ‘professional’ to it’s level as it is commonly understood in English (or rather stands for in it’s context of ‘Doctor/Lawyer’) Second, why would the meaning be ‘reduced’ if used by others?

Webster does not single this out. (unless one goes to the root ‘profession’; to quote Webster: “The body of qualified persons of a specific occupation or field”)

So, the doctors and lawyers ‘grabbed’ it ?

Look at any classified ad page in your local paper, under Professionals, that’s what’s being looked for. All others are ‘also ran’

But yes, this reminds me of (see quote above: ‘and words in other languages as well’), Germans use the word “Akademiker” (N) referring to a Doctor or other “Professional” the same way. Although, one that attends any ‘Academy’ (or for that matter any University) does not become an ‘Akademiker’ automatically.

What do I know? I don’t even have a High School diploma. Plus, as always: I stand corrected.


Peter

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Well, just to really annoy you Peter, here's the definition in US federal law of a professional employee:

PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEE - Any employee engaged in work predominantly intellectual and varied in character as opposed to routine mental, manual, mechanical, or physical work; involving the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment in its performance; of such a character that the output produced or the result accomplished cannot be standardized in relation to a given period of time; requiring knowledge of an advanced type in a field of science or learning customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction and study in an institution of higher learning or a hospital, as distinguished from a general academic education or from an apprenticeship or from training in the performance of routine mental, manual, or physical processes.

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

Merriam-Webster doesn't cut this way, but American Heritage does. The first definition in AmH is:

Of, relating to, engaged in, or suitable for a profession: lawyers, doctors, and other professional people.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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A chef sells not only food that tastes good but his or her sense of taste and style.

That's certainly true in this context, where the chef has an audience far beyond the subset of the population that could ever reasonably be expected to dine in his restaurants.

If a chef has a single restaurant, and all he does is cooks there, I only care about the food that comes out (and the service and such that I get at the restaurant). As long as the food tastes good, I don't care if his home is decorated with black velvet paintings of Elvis and if he subsists on a diet of Fritos and Lipton's sour-cream-and-onion dip because he likes that better than the fancy-schmancy food he cooks for a living. There's a point at which, regardless of food quality, I wouldn't support a raging pedophile or anti-semite or whatever, but on the whole I don't really care what a standard-issue restaurant chef does or thinks as long as he's putting out good food.

But when a chef starts writing books, going on TV, and otherwise injects himself into the larger media world where celebrity is a commodity, he's no longer selling food. It's not likely that even 1% of his audience will ever eat his food, or at least not the restaurant food that reflects his best work. It's in that kind of celebrity/public-eye situation where I think it's correct to say that insofar as the overwhelming majority of the audience is concerned a chef does not sell food that tastes good but, rather, sells only his or her sense of taste and style. Or lack thereof.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Oh well, laugh at me, just not 'again' me. :huh::shock::laugh:


Peter

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Well, just to really annoy you Peter, here's the definition in US federal law of a professional employee:
PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEE - Any employee engaged in work predominantly intellectual and varied in character as opposed to routine mental, manual, mechanical, or physical work; involving the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment in its performance; of such a character that the output produced or the result accomplished cannot be standardized in relation to a given period of time; requiring knowledge of an advanced type in a field of science or learning customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction and study in an institution of higher learning or a hospital, as distinguished from a general academic education or from an apprenticeship or from training in the performance of routine mental, manual, or physical processes.

And who "wrote" US Federal "law?" Lawyers.

Ahhh, hypocrisy is a wonderful thing.

Anyone who is an expert in their field to the extent that people are willing to pay for that expertise (chefs, artists, musicians, songwriters, etc) are indeed professionals.

Never trust the government for a definition or anything else.

:cool:

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Just got the October/November isse of Mother Earth News.

Page 62 is a big fat photo of Bayless and an organic gardener from Wisconsin examining mesclun mix accompanied by an .article titled "From Farms to Five Stars".

Will read whole article later after I clean my contact lenses. I DOUBT if BK deal is mentioned!

Wil let you know. Ciao


JANE

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